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How to iron a dress shirt

Follow our simple steps to get your button-downs tidy and crisp—and look your best in no time! A crisp, wrinkle-free shirt always makes a good impression. Get ready to learn (or relearn) the ironing essentials.


1. Check the shirt’s label

Cotton and cotton blends can tolerate a hot iron, while polyester blends need a cooler setting. The manufacturer’s label should spell out care requirements clearly, but when in doubt, start with a low heat setting and increase the temperature until wrinkles in the shirt begin to respond. Find out how to read fabric care labels.

2. Is it clean?

Ironing over existing stains can set them permanently. Don’t risk it: Choose a liquid detergent that works for both whites and colors, such as Tide® PODS Detergent, and use Downy Fabric Conditioner in a scent you love, such as Downy® Infusions Liquid Fabric Softener, Refresh Scent.

3. Press the collar

Begin with the underside, working from the center of the collar out toward the points. Turn the shirt over, and repeat on the other side of the collar.

4. Press the shoulders

Place one shoulder over the narrow end of your ironing board. Starting at the yoke (where the collar meets the body of the shirt), iron toward the center of the back. Repeat the process on the other side.

5. Press the cuffs

Lay one sleeve flat with the buttons or cuff-link holes facing up. Iron the inside of the cuff first, then turn the sleeve over and iron the outside. Repeat with the other sleeve.

  1. Press the sleeves

Lay one sleeve flat and use your hand to smooth out any creases between the two layers. Iron the front of the sleeve first, then the back. Repeat with the other sleeve.

7. Press the front and back

Begin with the front panels, taking care to iron between the buttons; pressing on them can cause them to break. Turn the shirt over and iron the back.

8. You’re finished!

Hang and button your shirt immediately, and turn off and unplug your iron.

Did you know?

Downy helps protect your clothes from 50 mph spinning in your washing machine.

Downy helps protect your clothes from 60 times the G Force of a space rocket launch.

Downy helps protect your clothes from a dryer hot enough to cook ribs.